Le Bernardin Part Deux
June 24, 2015
After the first round of appetizers, water was refreshed and the next set of plates were gracefully placed in front of us.
Ultra rare smoked sea trout; pickled red onion citrus-miso emulsion, there was also a potato chip on top. Sea trout is an American fish from shallow flats/brackish waters. It is not actually a trout but a member of the bream family. It has a light delicate flavor even though the color reminds one of salmon it is not oily. It was a delicious dish.
Warm Peekytoe Maryland lump crab; shaved heirloom cauliflower, mustard emulsion. This was my personal favorite dish of those that I ordered including my dessert. The crab was sweet and light in flavor. the cauliflower added a nice flavor but the mustard emulsion is what brought the dish together. the emulsion was highly flavorful with out hiding what it was served with. Acidic with a little sweet heat from the mustard. A most evolved dish.
Warm artichoke panaché; vegetable risotto, lemon emulsion with shaved black truffles.
I found this to be the most visually stunning of the dishes. It was lovely to taste as well. Sometimes artichokes can taste a bit earthy muddied. This was almost pure light artichoke the lemon ‘sauce’ really brightened this dish.
Poached skate; braised daikon, charred scallion jam, lemon confit-kimchi broth. Skate, I have only had it once before and compared to this heavenly prepared skate the previous example was like shoe leather. The morsel I nibbled was flavorful and light. The broth was aromatic and a little spicy. I think this was the best entree of the evening hands down.
The dish presented to Andrea was house made pasta with asparagus and shaved truffle with a truffle butter sauce. It was rich, delicious and the flavor was amazing. Pasta was perfectly cooked. Andrea could not finish it and we asked for it to be wrapped up. They whisked it to the kitchen and Andrea was presented with this…
She will be able to pick up the pasta in a nice container and baggie at the end of the meal so our table will not be cluttered.
Pan roasted lobster; baby leeks, sunchoke purée, red wine “sauce Américaine”. I do not often order lobster although I love it so. When it is prepared properly it is succulent and buttery. So many times it is rubbery and dry with no flavor. Not here. Each bite was scrumptious and full of flavor. The leeks were yummy and the green puree was light in flavor but added a nice touch to the depth of the dish in its entirety.The gave me a small plate to place my shells on and when they were all removed the plate was immediately whisked away. I could have licked that sauce off the plate. Ok, I almost did, Dave held me back. Good Dave.
Roasted Pineapple, Guava Jam, Yuzu-Coconut Sorbet. Pavlovas are a light summery dish. Their take had a meringue shell on the sides of one of the most intensely flavored sorbets I have ever had. Second only to a mandarin one I had at Le Bec Fin a few years ago. The sorbet coupled with the fruits and the nice crunch of he meringue was sublime. Both bright and sweet. It was a perfect spring/summer dessert!
Elderflower-Scented Strawberries, Crème Fraîche Panna Cotta, Frozen Strawberry Snowflakes. the first bites were very intensly strawberry. Then I hit the panna cotta and it hit me, this was a cheese blintz with strawberries. A rich custard type of panna cotta, the Crème Fraîche really gives a nice tang to the dish that would otherwise be an overly sweet dessert. I loved the strawberry ‘snowflakes’ which reminded me of dipping dots texturally. The micro basil was a nice touch.
Milk Chocolate Mousse, Dark Caramel, Candied Peanuts, Warm Malted Caramel. I wanted to order this but of the two Dave debated on, he chose this so I picked the snow. To me, this epitomizes the perfect chocolate dessert. creamy, crunchy, sweet and salty. It was probably the best chocolate dessert I have ever tasted. It was that good. Yeah, I am a sucker for malt too.
We had coffee, cappuccino and mint tea to finish out the meal. We also were given a small plate each.
From left to right; chocolate ginger truffle, pistachio macaroon, fruit gelee (think Habro orange fruit slices but exquisitely done) and a chocolate cherry cake. We devoured them and Andrea was quick to ask for one more for we forgot to photograph one.. they brought us each another. I asked for a copy of the menu for I collect them.
The dining room captain brought us each a copy in an envelope with a copy of the current Zagat’s guide of NYC.
Replete, the bill was paid and Andrea checked out the bathroom (no attendant but clean). A meal worth it and I am glad to finally hit a three star Michelin Guide-rated restaurant. I have eaten at establishments of famous chefs. This and The French Laundry have been on the top of my list. Now, with it bagged off my list of things I would like to do for a culinary experience, I am happy. Happy to share a meal with My Dave and one of my dearest friends, that made the meal so much better.
Of course I made a face..